Radon and
Your Basement

When testing for radon, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you start with the lowest level of your home where you and your family spend time. For many Americans, this is the basement.

All homes in Illinois should be tested for radon every two years, but If you’ve converted your basement into a bedroom, game room, home gym, or office—or if anyone in your family spends a lot of time there—It’s even more important. If the test reveals your basement radon levels are 4.0 pCi/L or higher, it’s time to call DuPage Radon Contractors and get a radon mitigation system. We can install a radon removal system that will remove the radon in your basement, making your home a safer place for you and your family.

Why Check for Radon Gas in Basements?

Radon naturally occurs when uranium, an element that is found in rocks and soil, starts to decay. Radon can pass from the soil to the air in a gaseous form and enter your home. Because your basement is below ground, it’s the first room that radon gas will reach as it rises from the soil to the air. Therefore, the concentration of radon gas in your basement will likely be higher than in any other room of your house.

While limited exposure to radon gas isn’t likely to cause major health problems, long-term exposure to high levels of radon (typically defined as 4.0 pCi/L or higher) can significantly increase your risk of lung cancer. For example ,a level of 4.0pCi/L increases your risk roughly equivalent to smoking a half a pack of cigarettes a day. Even if you don’t spend much time in the basement, it is still worth checking your radon level. The amount of radon drops by about half for each floor of a building, so if, for example, you have 16.0 pCi/L in the basement, you are being exposed to about 8 pCi/L while you are on the first floor and 4 pCi/L on the second floor, where you may spend extra hours sleeping.

How Does Radon Enter the Basement?

There are many possible points where radon can enter your basement, including:

  • The sump pump pit
  • Cracks in the floor
  • Holes in the concrete slab
  • Floor-to-wall joints
  • Gaps around pipes entering the foundation
  • Floor drains
  • Crawlspaces

Anywhere there’s a gap or opening in the basement floor, radon gas can get in. And unfortunately, sealing up cracks and holes isn’t enough: radon gas can still pass straight through concrete slabs.

How Can You Reduce Radon Gas in the Basement?

Now you know where radon comes from and why its levels may be high in your basement, but what can you do about it?

Fortunately, a good radon mitigation system can lower the radon levels in your basement. The installation process typically involves sealing any openings in your basement floor and setting up a suction-based removal system. The radon removal system will suction radon gas from the soil below the floor, pulling the gas through pipes and discharging it above the roofline, where you won’t breathe it in.

If your home is in the Chicagoland area, let DuPage Radon Contractors can design and install your radon mitigation system. We make it easy to schedule a free consultation and bid, and we’re typically able to install a system in just one day. We also guarantee our work: if our radon mitigation system doesn’t reduce the radon in your basement to below 4.0 pCi/L, we’ll provide any necessary adjustments for free.

Call us or fill out a quick contact form to learn more about our services.

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